Saturday, December 31, 2011

My own personal 'meet cute'

This is so weird. It really is. But full of irony.

A few weeks ago, a funny thing happened to me in Meijer (and I want to say I hardly EVER go to Meijer. Ever. I just don't- too expensive) in Southern Civilization. I was walking into the store and a guy in the parking lot walked into me. He stepped out from between 2 pick up trucks and bumped into me. He apologized all over the place and his buddy admonished him and we all laughed and walked inside together.

And we all headed in the same direction. And down the same aisle. You know that weird thing when you keep seeing the same person/ people in the store and you keep nodding or something? Well, finally these guys and I just kept laughing so hard and we all introduced ourselves, shaking hands. We finally parted ways BUT we all ended up in the check out together and in the same line. So we started making stalked jokes with each other, and we all walked back out together.

One of the Sam's was cute and nice and he flirted with me the most and he wasn't wearing a ring. It was just weird and funny.

I got in the car and told Daddy-O and he and I laughed about it.

The next day XRay Girl and I were chatting and I told her about it an she gave me hell for not getting this guy's number. She said most people just don't have the chance to meet a cute guy and hit it off and then leave. She said if it's meant to be then he and I would run into each other again. I have to admit that while I wasn't in cruising the Meijer story rows looking for him, I would just check out my surroundings when I was in Southern Civilization, at the mall or Starbucks, or at Applebees. I never saw him.

So last night, Photographer and I were in that same Meijer- she was doing her weekly shopping and as we pulled in the parking lot, I told her about those guys. When she and I were going through the check out, there he was. He looked at me and smiled in recognition and waved me over to where he stood. Photographer went to the car and I walked over to him and he said, "[Maggie!!!] You're here! Finally!" He remembered my name...! (Okay I remembered his as well.)

Then he introduced me to... his 3 year old daughter. Yup. In the short span of conversation, he said he wasn't married, his ex worked at the Meijer and on his custody weekend, they would go in so she could see her mom, he'd thought about me often and asked for my number.

And I gave it to him.

Yeah, I gave a man in Meijer, a total stranger, my cell number. Good idea or bad? Dunno.

I did, however, call XRayGirl as soon as I got home and told her about it and she said if I hadn't given him my number she would kick my ass. She also said she would go along and act like a stranger to keep an eye on me, just in case he did call and ask me out. She said it was a total "Maggie" thing because shit like that doesn't happen to real people, only in the movies.

And then later last night, oh around 9pm, he sent me a text and we texted back and forth for a bit and he asked if I wanted to meet him at Starbucks for coffee.

He said he didn't believe in the 3 day rule.

Is meeting for coffee, in the middle of the afternoon, when we have both established we had other plans for later, a date?

Do I want a date?

Am I over ITSam?

Is it too soon?

Am I crazy??? (Okay, this one I can answer: yes!)

This sort of stuff doesn't usually happen to me so I guess I'm going... Updates will be forthcoming.

She who is a girl with a... coffee thing,

Friday, December 30, 2011

My life as the sequel to the Scott Pilgrim movie

Mac thinks it would be great if my life could be like the Scott Pilgrim movie. In the movie, Scott Pilgrim meets the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers, and to be with her he has to defeat all her evil ex-boyfriends. This is now one of Mac's favorite movies; he even got it for Christmas on Blu-Ray. He thinks it would be cool if I met my soul mate who then had to battle and kill all my evil ex-boyfriends.

He said all my exes are fat so they don't need physical prowess--- well, the Gay Cowboy was skinny but the rest are on the heavier side.

The Soul Mate has certain challenges per ex-BF, according to Mac:
  • The Canadian is Canadian so there's the challenge right there
  • ITSam would try to sue the Soul Mate and probably stalk me for the rest of my life so the battle would be to kill him without leaving a paper trail
  • The Gay Cowboy (a guy I dated when I lived in the Wild West) is tricky because he was a cowboy, a construction worker, a fireman and, it turned out, gay. Soul Mate must call out the Village People for help. And Soul Mate must win because if he loses there will sodomy. Lots and lots of sodomy. Yuck!
  • The former BF who was alcoholic-druggie-unemployed-poet... well, he's all cleaned up and Mac thinks he shouldn't be offed any more so he can just be a friend of Soul Mate...
  • Sperm Donor is the most evil of all. He thinks that blogging, according to Mac, is for whining liberals who control the media so he wouldn't even know about Soul Mate to begin with since he's a closed minded, small minded, Republican. Unless, that is, my blog shows up on the FOX News Website, which he only watched to criticize

What I find to be the funniest of Mac's diatribe is that he thinks I'll find a Soul Mate!

Mac's mom,


Thursday, December 29, 2011

If I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck

It was the starter.

It cost $263.

The Nook is going back. And all the accessories.

I will sell Mac, if anyone wants him...

Fucking car.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My life is a comedy of errors

Part I:
I decided to take the day and just relax. I went to the public library and read books and visited with some of my favorite staff people. It was nice to just be in a different atmosphere.

Then I decided to go to Starbucks and sit and read. Hey, don't judge me- I have a good book and was just tired of being home. So I drove to the nearest Starbucks, which is the next town over, about 25 minutes away. I got my favorite Venti Peppermint Mocha and sat there and read for a few hours. Then I decided to drive home. I went to the car and it wouldn't start. The head lights came on and the dashboard lights and the radio but the car wouldn't start. It didn't click or grind or anything. Just no noise at all, just lights. Weird.

I looked under the hood and jiggled wires and it still wouldn't start. I went inside to see if anyone had jumper cables and no one did.

I was standing in the parking lot, contemplating a 1 block walk to Auto Zone when a redneck guy pulled up in a big 'ol pick up. I asked him for help and he had the jumper cables. Of course he did since he wore camo pants, 3 flannel shirts, an orange day-glo hunting had, three days of beard growth on his grizzly face, and no teeth. But hell, he had jumper cables! And that didn't work.

Part II:
After the bourbon breath guy couldn't get my car started I decided to walk to the Auto Zone. I crossed the parking lot and saw an open garage. I went there and told the mechanic what was going on. He was closing the shop so he drove over with some tools and he tinkered around and it wouldn't start.

He said it was either the badly corroded wires or the starter. If it's badly corroded, then he'll fix it tomorrow for free. If it's the starter, I'm screwed for the tune of $175 UP FRONT.

And, here's a weird thing. I got the guy's business card and then just handed hi m the keys to my car. A perfect stranger. I just handed them over.

Now, let us pray for corrosion. Or that the car gets stolen (isn't that what insurance is for?).

Part III:
Now I'm stranded about 25 minutes away so what else can I do other than I call father. Who agrees to be my hero and come get me. As I hang up and get ready to go in Starbucks to sit and wait, friends of mine come out! They live in my town! They will give me a ride! Hallelujah! (<---- appropriate verbiage since the friend is a minister!)

I call dad back to tell him I don't need the ride, run inside to tell Starbucks about my car so it doesn't get towed, take a quick trip to the ladies room and then hitch it home.

Part IV:
Because if I didn't have bad luck, I would have no luck so I'm pretty sure my car will not be stolen overnight and it won't be just corrosion, I have to figure out how to come up with money. I decided the option that makes most sense is to return the Nook I bought myself (yes, I bought a Nook and have yet to blog about it! But I thought I was od-ing on the book/ reading posts so I was giving it some time. Anyway, I digress...)

I decide I'll return the Nook and Daddy-O gave me a leather cover and some other accessories. If I return all of that, I'll almost have the cost of the car. I have my Nook receipt and the box, and even the original bag.

What I don't have is the box the leather cover came in. I thought I threw it in a trash bag with the Christmas wrapping paper. Which was already taken to the trash, to the curb. Uh-Oh! No, but wait!!! Good news- tomorrow is trash day! Uh wait! Bad news- Daddy-O cleaned the garage trash out and just chucked it into the car, not in a bag.

So with a flashlight and extra garbage bags, father and I go out into the dark to dig through the trash at the curb. We do. It is gross. I wanted to puke. The box is not there.

And something wet and sticky and indescribable got on my hand. I probably have dysentery and gangrene and pneumonia and tyrotoxism! And I have no box for the leather case.

I'll call the garage tomorrow and see what the damage is.

Gee, things are always eventful here.

This is what I get for taking a day off.


Monday, December 26, 2011

More on books...TBR this time!

I've decided I'm going to participate in a TBR- To Be Read challenge.

The general idea of TBR challenge is to only read books you own.... for a period of time. I've read about a bunch of these so I'm making my own rules here. Yes, I know I said I wasn't going to have reading goals but this isn't really a goal but more of... cleaning my house, starting with the book cases.

I have about 30 boxes of books out in Daddy-O's garage and since I moved back here to Civilization I've filled an ENTIRE book case with books and have a couple piles on the floor. These are always my "back up books" like if the library runs out???? No, not that exactly. More like if I get stranded at home with nothing to read. And it could happen, right?

But I keep laying in bed and staring at that case, thinking of all the cool stuff on there I want to read. And I keep thinking if I read it, then I could donate books to my own school library or the community library or gift them on. And I would have more space for more books.

So, I've decided in 2012 I want to read some. And at the beginning of the year is as good a time as any. And for me right now is really good because I have home 2- count 'em TWO- library books only! Many of the challenges I've read about online encourage people to read from their TBR piles from January 1 until Tax Day- April 15. I think that sounds like a good range. I know I have enough there to carry me that far. I have enough there to carry me until July 15 if I wanted but I know I couldn't stand it that long.

So here are my own personal reading rules for TBR: I will read stuff on my shelves from January 1- April 15. There are a couple of exceptions I'm going to make from this, though and since it's my challenge I can do that:
  • I belong to a book club so I will read the selections for the book club whether or not I own them already or not
  • I have 2 books on hold at the library- one Patterson and one Grafton. The reserve list is really long (like 44 people waiting for the Grafton and 23 waiting for the Patterson) so if I get called for these books during this 3.5 months, I will read them rather than put my name BACK on the list for a few more months
  • I will finish the books I currently have home from the library, even if it spills into 2012. I'm not leaving a book half unread for 3.5 months just because... duh!
  • I have a book loaned to my by my SisIL and that counts as "on my shelf" because I want to read it NOW; it's number 18 of Steph Plum so it's a must!
  • I've started a literary club for students at school and I will also read those selections

So, other than the aforementioned selections, I will only read from my personal shelves. I've photographed 4 of the shelves that have books on them that I will select from (the other 2 shelves have cookbooks. I am NOT committing to reading cookbooks!)

If you see any books here that you would like to read, please let me know and I can read those first and then mail them off to you! See, it's something for all of us! And each shelf is alphabetical, except One Day is out of order cuz I just tossed it in there for the picture. (and the holes on the shelves where a book obviously was are books I've already read but am keeping because I love them...)

I still plan on letting my "wish list" at Barnes & Noble grow and I still plan on reading reviews and adding to my "to read" list on while I take this challenge. But it's a good time to clean off the shelves. And maybe I'll have fewer books to move, should I ever move from the attic...

If anyone would like to join the TBR challenge with me, please feel free! We could even start a joint blog, if we wanted...? Just a thought!

Happy Reading to me, and to you, next year!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

2011 Christmas movie!

The Christmas movie we saw today was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo---- great movie. Not very Christmas-y but we really liked it!

Christmas Giggles

From my house to yours, Happy Christmas!

Peace and joy to you all this season!

Pink lipsticky kisses to you all,

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas eats

We had our family Christmas a few days ago since my brother drew the short straw and work on Christmas day. This isn't really a big, ugly deal or anything and it was a wonderful day.

My niece and nephew just crack me up with their silly antics and they must've known about Santa's naughty and nice list because they were extra nice and so sweet. I got lots of hugs and kisses and cuddles and smiles and even some high 5's from Fab Finn (who isn't much for kisses for anyone but hi mommy!).

We opened awesome presents and then went out for dinner at a steak house. I loved that I didn't have to cook!

Though today I decided I would cook stuff for the next few days so I could keep on relaxing. I didn't want to spend all of tomorrow cooking even though we're only going to see a movie. I have to work my weekend receptionist job- which I am doing right now!- so my brain was in work mode already. So I got up this morning, and none too early mind you, and tackled cleaning the kitchen first so I could cook.

I boiled and deboned chicken for a chicken casserole, which I stirred up after said chicken was cooked and... de-boneable (I know that's not a word and it even sounds sorta dirty...). I also fired 2 pounds of bacon and made 2 breakfast casseroles. I fried up hamburger for tomorrows chili, then I made 2 dips/ spreads: cheese dip for crackers or veggies, and a dill dip which we put on small slices of pumpernickel bread. I didn't get the brownies baked or the sour cream coffee cake made so those are on tomorrow's agenda. And the corn muffins (those are better hot so they had to wait, in my personal opinion. But it's not that hard to open a box, add eggs and pour! Right?)

By the time I got to work (and I volunteered to work so no pity parties!) and I put up all the mail here and then I got things situated for the rest of the night, I was wiped out! Who knew that pre-working could take so much time?

And you know when you cook lots of stuff and you think you have everything? Well, I thought I was out of eggs but found a dozen had been shoved to the back of the fridge. I ran out of bread but Daddy-O had hid an extra loaf. I had just enough milk plus a glass. The only thing that was messed up with dill weed. We have a shelf in the pantry that has about 50 different types of spices on it. NO DILL WEED! I went through them several times and made Daddy-O look because I could be blind and there was no dill for the DILL DIP. I said screw it but Daddy-O ventured out to Wally World in search of said spice. And he found the LAST ONE in all of town (he called to see if dill seed would work. I had to call my friend with the recipe who said that would no be an acceptable substitution and had to text him back. He prevailed and found one anyway!) You know me and holiday food- it's almost the point for ANY holiday!

So, it's Christmas eve and almost all the food is prepared and stockings are hung and the children are gonna be snug in beds... and I don't have to cook on Christmas. Unless I want coffee cake. And brownies. And corn muffins...

Happy Christmas,

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A book is a gift you can open again and again

As I've been reading book blogs this holiday season trolling for 2012 reads since this year's selection was pitiful (but another post about that later!), I found a wonderful idea that I too am going to take part in: Bochus Yule.

Bochus Yule (Library Christmas) is the idea of donating books to your local library during this holiday season and is such a wonderfully simple idea that I read about on Shelf Love, that I can't believe I never thought of it myself (there's even a place to use a Mr. Linky to show your support at the Literary Omnivore).

So, this week I plan to take a bag of books to my local library.

Libraries have had such a huge influence on my. I always wonder if I hadn't grown up a mere block from the public library, would I have been such an avid reader. I've written about my love of libraries here before.

I've also taken the liberty of reprinting a post I wrote a few years ago about my love of books and reading... such wonderful childhood memories.

Because I am bibliophile, one of my favorite things in the whole wide world to do is spend a day in a used book store, listening to the rain outside and drinking Starbucks coffee while just browsing. I love that. I always check out a library when I go on vacation as part of my sight seeing excursions. I love Barnes and Noble- this is one of my favorite places in the world. I usually have three or four books going at one time. I can't name a favorite book because there are too many to choose from, same with trying to list a favorite author.

I grew up living 1 block from the public library and by the time I was age five I would walk to the library alone, with my mom standing on the side walk in front of our house watching me the whole way. The librarian would walk outside and watch me cross the street and I was then entering my own childhood version of heaven.

I would read anything and everything I could get my hands on. When I was in junior high school I got a job working at used book store for 4 hours on Saturday mornings. Then when I was in high school, I landed what was then my dream job- working in the children's department of the local library. I loved that job and worked there for 6 years. I then worked at a public library in the town where I went to college for 2 years and I worked in the campus library for a year. Yes, total nerd.

But my love of books has continued. I still love children's books. My son had the biggest collection of books of any child, enough to start our own library, and I started reading to him while he was womb residing. Bedtime would take an hour at night because we had to read a stack of bedtime stories. Whenever I feel down and sad, I love to read kids' books- they make me smile no matter what. Some favorites I think complete every child's library are The Napping House, Where the Wild things Are, Good Night Moon, The Giving Tree, Amelia Bedlia, The Day Jimmy's Boa ate the Wash, King Bidgood's in the Bathtub and He won't get Out, Green Eggs and Ham, Max's Chocolate Chicken, Hegedy Peg, Christina Katrina and the Box, Angelina Ballerina, Alexander and the terrible-no good-very bad day, and A pocket for Corduroy. Obviously, this list can go on and on and on. And these are just my picture book favorites.

My own personal book collection is quite extensive, even with all the books I sold for cash when I first moved back here to Civilization. Friends told me they are not helping me move my books again- I had 48 boxes when I got back here from the Wild West. One time when I moved everyone was so sick of moving these boxes they wrote messages on the boxes. Where I had written "books" friends add "Another box of *books*" or "more fucking *books*" or "another damn box of *books*"... uh, yeah.

So... in this season of giving, I'm going to give the gift of reading and donate some some books, and hope many of you will as well!

Your bibliophile,

Friday, December 16, 2011

Change, age... feh....I do what I want!

As my wonderfully faithful readers know, I have huge issues surrounding my birthday. Some of them are my own issues (OMG I'm getting old) and some issues aren't exactly mine but still affect me.

So, like those who have gone before me, I am now joining the ranks of the great ones like George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr, Jesus, Abraham Lincoln and all US Postal holidays that don't fall on a Monday- I am changing the day I will observe my birthday! Yes, you heard it here first, I will no long celebrate my birthday on 9/26. My NEW day of Observation, the day we will now CELEBRATE my birth, my new "Birthday", the day I want presents and cake and cards and forced familial celebrations... that new day is...

FEBRUARY 26!!!!!!!!!!!

The reason I picked February, you may be wondering, has a nice, rational, Maggie-like logic. First, not January because it's too close to Christmas. No March since that's would be poaching on SisILaw's birthday. Not April because that's the month of Mac's birthday and my mom's birthday was in April as well. Can pick May because I can't poach dad's birthday AND because it's Mother's Day- and I have hope that some day Mac will actually recognize that Hallmark hallmark. June is a possibility but I like winter better. Bro's birthday is July.

Then that brings us to Aug- Dec, which is a little more complicated. My folks lost a baby in August and that happens to be their wedding anniversary. My mom died a few days before my original birthday in Sept. and then there was her funeral, which was also in Sept, and so from around Aug 1 to the end of the year my dad is in a funk with missing my mom. Take the personal stuff in Aug. and Sept. and then the holidays--- well, those are baaaaaad months. No one is cheerful and feels like celebrating my birthday in Sept. My birthday has not always been a great thing but since 2007 when my mom died, my birthday just sucks. No one is happy. And who can blame them? I understand!

So, I've decided since it's my birthday, I can totally change it, right? I can change my hair color and style, I can change my weight, I can change my shoes, and I can change my mind, so why can't I just change my birthday? If people ask, I can say my birthday is in Sept but we always celebrate in February. See, that sounds just fine, right?

And since I'm changing the day we can call "The Day to celebrates Maggie's Life" I'm also going to be 38 on February 26, 2012. And if you think I turned 40 last Sept... well, you're right (but it was the worst birthday in the history of my life & not because I didn't want to celebrate it but because everyone around me were "poopieheads"). But I don't care if I was supposed to be 40 last Sept. If I'm changing my birth date then I can change my age- and I am and I will.

So, in case you missed it, on February 26, 2012 I'm going to be 38 years old.

Feel free to start planning the party now.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ah, the sweetness!

I organized a cookie swap at work. I have no idea what got into me but 2 weeks ago I started pummeling our faculty with emails to see who wanted to be involved. By the deadline, there were 8 of us, which includes me.

The general concept is that each person in the swap would bake 1 sort of cookie. And they would bake 1 dozen of that type and give 1 dozen to each person... for those of you who don't know how a swap works. Then we all bring them together and we each get to leave with 1 dozen of seven types of cookies, in my case 7 since there were seven other people other than me.

So today was the big day for the cookie swap.

Well, I have to have that one secretary bowed out at the last minute, with good reason. Last night she went home to bake ans discovered her husband had dumped all her wheat flour and her white flour together in ONE CONTAINER. She lives in the country, about 20 minutes from a grocery store but her son lives in his own house on their farm property and her daughter lives 2 miles away down the road. So she called her daughter and borrowed the flour from her. Her next hurdle was that her husband also froze ALL their eggs. So she called her kids and managed to get enough eggs except for 2 and she had to use frozen ones. While she keeps running to her kids homes, she discovers her house is getting hotter and hotter.l Well, he husband was messing with their wood stove settings and by the time she could actually start baking it was 90 degrees in her house. And the butter she had in a bowl had completely melted. So the dough wouldn't hold together. She decided to just put the dough in the fridge overnight and got up at 4am this morning to bake. And when she did all cookies crumbled and couldn't rise- they were flat as pancakes. Then she decided screw it and she would buy cookies at the store. She had no cash on her except for a 100 dollar bill that her husband didn't have the bank teller break smaller. The grocery store she went to this morning at 7am didn't have change for a $100. So she said to hell with the cookie swap. And after all that we all felt sorry for her- wouldn't you????- and gave her cookies anyway!

Other than that mess and that one teacher made her grandmother's cookies and was up until 1 am (though she said baking is much more fun since she was drinking Blue Moon Winter ale) and that I ran out of butter in the middle and had to go to Wal-Mart in the middle of baking, at 8pm, in a deluge, all went smoothly. (Oh, I made Tea Cake Surprises- a dough cookie with a Hershey Kiss inside of it and then rolled in powdered sugar!)

So, we swapped cookies. I came home with a dozen of each of the following: Black Forest Cookies (cherry and chocolate cookies), cut out sugar cookies with frosting and sprinkles, Peanut Butter Blossoms (peanut butter cookies with a Hershey Kiss on the top), haystacks (Chow Mein Noodles covered in dark chocolate), fudge, and Pretzel turtles (pretzels with a Rolo Candy melted on the top and then a pecan set on it as the Rolo melted).

If you read my Twitter feed then you know that none of us here at home liked the haystacks and Daddy-O actually took them out for the birds. Everything else is YUMMERS!!!!!!

Here's the loot:

Wonder if I could convince people to do a cookie swap once a quarter????

Settling in for a sugar high,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A holiday story of Polyurethane

I bought a spray can of Polyurethane to spray on rocks that kids painted in art club last week. I've never used such a product before. It comes in a can like spray paint, an aerosol can.

I read the back of the can and it says to remove the safety seal before spraying. I take off the lid and see there's a red dot on the nozzle area so I thought that was the safety thing. In trying to take that off, I sprayed myself: my sleeve and my hand and my fingers. Shit. Well, upon further inspection, the red dot is where the Polyurethane comes out and the safety seal was the plastic wrap on the can which I had to take off to even read the instructions. Go figure.

I sprayed the rocks and then went to the lady's room to wash my hands. I used hot water and soap and dried my hands. My hands were a little tacky and a little shiny but I didn't think anything about it.

When I got to my desk, I worked on my computer for about 20 minutes and when a student came in to hand me a book, I reached out to take it from him and... wait for it... the mouse stuck to my hand. And not just stuck and then plunk to the desk but STUCK to the point where I had to PEEL it from my hand and left sticky residue and skin on the MOUSE!! Holy shit, I polyurethaned the mouse to my HAND!!!!

That was not good.

I went to see our janitor and she gave me a bottle of chemical that we use to wash a dry erase board. So I sprayed it on my hand and it dried and my hand was no longer sticky or tacky BUT it burned like hell. I practically ran to the bathroom and washed my hands with water as hot as I could stand it and more soap. I washed and scrubbed.

When I was done, my hand was white. I mean, really white like notebook paper. Bloodless, all Edward Cullen like.

I put on hand lotion and pretty soon my flesh color came back but it was weird. I was also sans- polyurethane, and I remembered to clean my mouse, too.

Oh.... the rocks looked awesome.

Reason #243 why I shouldn't be allowed to do art projects,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Reading should be fun, damn it!

As the 2011 is winding down, I was looking at my reading goals I set for myself and I failed miserably. Last year I said I wasn't going to really make any reading goals but I did somehow- they just seemed to evolve- and I didn't achieve them and I feel like I let myself down.

I was reading around on some book blogs and found a wonderful blog called Shelf Love. I have no idea how I've never discovered this blogger before but she writes and reviews like I want to when I grow up. There are some amazing things on here other than just book reviews. She blogs about what I think of as essay style posts, all things about reading, books, writers, book news or just stuff about the literary world. All that being said, i stumbled on a post about reading and goals and fun. This inspired me to write my own post because I completely agree with her!

Reading should be fun. Period. I have no idea why this strikes me in epiphany fashion but it does. I tell my students all the time that reading should be fun and that reading is fun. I tell them that even though they might have to read a novel or a book for class, they should find things to read that the like otherwise. I don't' care if they read fiction or non, magazines, newspapers, comics, graphic novels.... as long as they read something they like and it should be fun. So why in the world can't I follow my own advice and why did I have to read it on a random blog before I had my "Ah- HA!" moment?

Reading SHOULD be fun, damn it! And when I make reading goals for myself it's not fun. I just want to read for fun, regardless of how many books I read. Or what genres. Or what style. I just want to read for the sake of reading.

There are several book clubs online that I could join and I was thinking about it until I decided I didn't want to be locked into reading any specific. There's one that encourages readers to get through all their "I own these books" pile. I can't remember the specifics but the deal was to read nothing except the books you bought to help decrease that stack since most of us bibliophiles own more books than we can ever get through. Another book club is to concentrate on new release books, reading books that only come out in 2012. Another book club that appealed to me was the "read all the books I bought in 2011." I like both of these ideas but again, it puts some constraints on my reading which is going to turn it into a "job" rather than something for fun. Of course, there's the traditional way of having reading goals like targeting a certain number of books to read (which I've done before) or a certain number of a specific genre (which I've done before).

Last year I finally gave myself permission to not finish a book if I don't like it. I was usually invested in completing what i started and I just finally said, "Maggie, it's okay if you don't read the whole book if you hate it." It's really hard for me but I do now abandon a book if I don't like it. That doesn't happen very often but I average about 10 books a year that I don't finish. That's not so bad. So that was my first step in lessening my reading stress, and allowing myself to have fun- and I didn't even know it!

So this year my reading goal is to have fun. I guess I'm allowing 2 small goals: 1) the first is that I want to joining a Read-a- thon on April 21, 2012. I can read anything i want but the whole day is devoted to reading. I want to do this. And it's reading for charity! The other goal, #2, is that I'm going to continue my membership in my book club with my friend Photographer. I have the list of books we're reading in January, February, and March. I will attempt to read the book for book club each month but if I don't like it, I'll not read it and skip the meeting that month, or go and admit I didn't like it an why.

Other than those 2 LITTLE things, my reading goal for 2012 is to have FUN! Fun is defined differently for everyone. I often read stuff that my dad calls "smart people books"; I think that's a compliment. And to me that's fun reading. I'm also going to ready just about anything I want from cotton candy for the brain to chick lit to beach reads to the smart stuff. Anything I want to read and I'm not setting any goals. Even if I did read 117 books in 2010 and I feel I should be able to do that annually. But that is not going to sway me! No numbers! Just reading fun!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

And that's all the randomness that's fit to print

I should've done posts called "25 days of Christmas socks" since I have enough to wear a pair for 25 days.

I think the new Chocolate diamonds are ugly. There. I said it. I think they look brown, dirty and cheap rather than elegant. Nasty.

I'm obsessed with the TV show Criminal Minds. I can kill you in about 50 ways and never get caught. Other than the fact blood is icky. I wish Cold Case and Without a Trace reruns were on here.

How lazy am I that I bought a fudge making kit rather than all the separate ingredients? All the stuff came in one box, with a pan. It's supposed to make 1.5 pounds. I thought a kit to allow me to make that much fudge at once is a good thing.

There's a student, a young man, who works with me in the library in the mornings. I want to give him a little Christmas gift. Any ideas? We have so many regulations I'm at a loss. I might just email his case worker to see if he has any suggestions. Cologne?

I organized a cookie swap at work. Seven people other than me agreed so I'll come home on Thursday with 7 dozen different types of cookies. I think I'm going to make 'Snowball Surprises.' These are a mildly sweet dough cookie with a Hershey kiss inside. YUM!

Speaking of cookies, the first week of my Christmas break I'm going to bake- cut out cookies are first on the list. And I'm going to try cranberry bread. And maybe make some mini whoopie pies.

Speaking of Christmas break, I have some serious shopping left--- but that's for a different post!

I had nothing to do this whole weekend. No solid plans where I was expected to be anywhere. I didn't even get called to sub on Friday so I basically slept and watched TV for the last 2 days. I haven't the concentration or patience to read or craft so I just camped in front of the TV and watched a bunch of TV. I haven't even tried to focus on a movie.

It was cold today. It never got above 25 degrees. Since I lived in the Wild West, I could say that's really not a big deal but it felt cold to me. The house was warm and comfy but I just felt cold which seems silly.

Mac saw the commercial for and he associated it with bad water in Africa. And he's decided I'm going to get dysentery if I go to Africa, and die, unless of course I get kidnapped, raped and killed by the freedom fighters first. Ugh!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mac the man

I love love love Mac. I would do anything for him. That's how it is for our kids; it is that we would do anything for them, even if it isn't in our own best interest, no matter how much of a turd he can be, good or bad, as a mom I feel like it's life or death for my kid, should it come to that. All that drama being said... on a more down to Earth note...

Even though the last few months have been especially stressful since he quit school and he's not sure what he wants out of life now, I still love him. Even when I want to kick his ass I still love him.

Even yesterday when I Tweeted not nice things about him, I still love him. (I feel bad about my smarmy, smartass Tweets actually...)

He's cracked me up the last two days because Mac has given up all drinks except for water for about 3 years now. He quit drinking soda cold turkey and the kid lives on water. Lately, with the cold weather, he's been drinking hot chocolate. He's become the "at home chocolatier" and seems to have mastered the right blend of milk and cocoa with the right drinkable temperature. Which makes him all jacked up on caffeine. Which means he NEVER SHUTS UP!!!!!

Now those of you who know me in person might think his incessant speaking would be heredity. But this is talking without breathing, I think. No pauses. Just rapid fire, bullet words. It lasts about 15-20 minutes and then the caffeine and sugar high crash him.

I also feel bad for him because he is sick. The poor kiddo. He has one of those nasty winter colds with chest congestion with rattling breathing and nasty coughing and a runny nose. (He offered to show me his snot. While that's really gross, it also tells us all how sick he is if he thinks his snot is an interesting color enough to share with others...) I'm pumping him full of Day-quil and Ny-quil. He's just laying on his bedroom floor, playing video games. I'm going to offer him soup for dinner and see if he wants Jell0 and 7-Up.

No matter how old he is, he's still my little kid when he gets sick.

I guess that no matter how old he is, he is still my kid, sick or not.

Mac's Mom,

Monday, December 5, 2011

Twitter conflict

Well, I was laying in bed last night and I wrote an entire blog post in my head. Usually I jot down a few words or ideas when that happens but i wrote the entire post in my head and it never dawned on me that I'd forget an ENTIRE POST. WTH?!? I can't for the life of me remember what it was at all. I hate that!!! I feel like I'm losing my mind when I do things like that. So, this is not what I was going to blog about but it's better than nothing. And maybe my 'brain fart' will recover and I'll remember what I wanted to say.

So I follow someone on Twitter who's called 'nachosarah'. I don't know anything about her (or even him?) but she's funny. She says these one liners that make me giggle. Last night she Tweeted the following: "I bet Dalmatians are just thrilled about being the dog breed that has to fight fires." My first thought was to Tweet back at her: "Talk about a hot dog..." or my alternative Tweet back to her was "Better than being the dog breed that is associated with hot dogs."

Okay, I thought both of my responses were funny. And I think that while they aren't outwardly guffaw worthy, I think they at least merited a chuckle with an eye roll. I think people who know me probably would've at least smiled. But I didn't respond to her because she doesn't know me. And because she doesn't know me I wasn't sure she'd get my sense of humor and would think I was being a smartass. And I do not want to be in a Twitter war because my attempt at humor fell flat. I don't want her to think I was stupid, either.

Now, I thought I could Retweet her comment with my comment but again, i didn't want her to pick on me if she thought I wasn't funny. Big problem I often have when I write is that I'm trying to be funny or wittily sarcastic and it comes across more as mean or smarmy. There are tons of blog posts I've written and tossed because I was afraid no one would laugh.

I like to make people smile and giggle. I thought if I had any talent I'd do stand up but I can't imagine being up there and doing my thing and getting to the end and no one cracks a smile. And I'm not really a 'joke' person- as a matter of fact, I HATE to be told jokes- but I like to tell funny stories. I finally even made a label for some of my blog posts called "funny stuff" so people might realize it was supposed to be HUMOROUS. Now, I knew I was pushing it with the bellybutton post, walking a fine line between funny and gross and I think most people weighed in on gross (sorry about that!) and sometimes that happens in the world of writing funny. But there are times I think "hahahahahahahahaha" and no one else does.

And that's why I didn't write about about hot dogs to 'nachosarah'.

And the post I wrote in my head last night was much better than this one.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday random musings

I hate the tv show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I think it's stupid, but also because all they do is yell at each other, and shriek, and scream and it's a loud, ear piercing show. I hate it.

More garlic break!

I should move to Seattle and become a grunge band manager. Hey, it can't be much worse than what I already do.

I fixed spaghetti for dinner tonight- sauce out of a jar, pasta out of a box, and pre-made garlic bread from the freezer section- and it was REALLY good.

I want penny loafers, black ones. Please

Why do the contestants on Wheel of Fortune always yell, AND hit the last syllabus of each hard?

Where exactly are the slow boats to China and how do I get Mac on one?

Just my random thoughts for the day...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Damn, Jack Frost!

Holy Freakin' Snow Storm, Batman!!!!

Yesterday morning when I got up it was pouring down rain, cats and dogs type of rain. It was outrageous and just buckets falling. It was about 45 degrees outside. The weather was really for shit. It was still raining at noon.

Around 1pm several of us were in the hallway during passing period and it had turned to snow. We were all laughing that it would never stick because it was so warm that morning and just too wet to stick.

Boy, were we wrong. The following pictures all happened between 4-5pm.

These three were taken on the way home, out the windshield of the car.

These are pictures I took on campus before I drove home:

And these are of my backyard:

Wind was gusting around 30 mph. Everything in the county was cancelled or closed early. We're supposed to have about 8 inches by this morning. (I have no idea how much there is because we have a 2 hour snow delay and this will post before I get out of bed!) It snowed and snowed and snowed, allegedly all night. I can usually drive home in about 15 minutes (10 minutes if I don't hit all the lights red.). Yesterday it took me about 45 minutes. Plows had not run; it involved me being on county, state and city roads- not one single plow at all. Ugh! Traffic was at a stand still. One road in town is a steep hill and the police cars were all over the place directing cars away from it as those of us at the bottom of the hill watched cars slide down it backwards. I was really happy that I left the house in my rubber muck boots because of the rain this morning because I was ankle deep in slush this afternoon. Not kidding- ankle deep! Can we say mess?????

Winter arrived here in Civilization with a vengeance. Wonder how long it will stay?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Making Christmas cards

For art club this week- on Wednesday, the kids and I are going to make Christmas cards. Here are three samples. I was inspired by Achiever's, with all their make and take freebies, and their card workshops. So I came up with these three ideas and we made these examples.

Then last night I cut all the paper to the correct size after shopping for all the supplies. Daddy-O cut out the shiny trees, the snow flakes and the J-O-Y letters on his Cricut. Then on Wednesday night the kids will rotate in stations and make these cards.

I'm pretty proud of it how they came out! I hope the kids' are as happy with theirs as I am mine- I'll show their pix, too!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The not so novel navel

The word belly button is even gross. I don't like the actual body part, nor it's name. If I have to refer to it as all, I call it a navel. Though the word 'navel' is awkward to me as well. Navel makes me think of the military, like a navel base, but it also conjures up images of giant bell buttons walking around in uniforms. I know. I can barely bring myself to eat a navel orange.

I understand why we humans have belly buttons but I'm just not a fan. You know how some people are totally anti- feet? Repulsed by feet? Freaked out by feet? Well, I'm that way about navels. Innies and outies are equally repulsive to me.

Navels on skinny people are even icky. I know some folks think a guy with six pack abs has a sexy bellybutton but I am not one of those. I like the abs and the way a guy's hip bones are cut, but I don't like the belly button.

In a movie if a guy or girl licks another person's navel I get all creeped out! Or licks a shots or eats a cherry or whatever.... just.... ewwwww!

I also think innies are gross. Since I've gained weight I don't even look at my own belly button. I just make sure I wash and rinse it well. But here's a semi- gross story! (I'm obviously desperate for blog fodder if I'm telling this story) My navel hurt the other day. Actually was in pain so I itched the inside of my navel and my finger came away with pus and blood. Oh yeah. I had a pimple in my navel. GROSS!! And I was completely freaked out. I wanted to run and flee but like a shadow, the belly button would be coming with me. So I cleaned it well, with peroxide watching it bubble, and with alcohol (OMG PAIN!). Then a few days later it itched again. After an internal struggle of to itch or not to itch, I finally caved to the comparable to water torture and itched it! And... more repulsion- a scab the size of a small stone fell out. More alcohol and more bubbling with peroxide. More wanting to flee from my own body. And I've never gone back.

But my navel zit is not as disgusting as ITSam's belly button was (maybe it still is... I'm going to write about him in the first person since he's not dead, that I know of. I'll treat him like literature). His belly button is huge- you could practically stick your whole fist in it!!! And he's really hairy, so it's just beyond gross. He has globs of lint in there, every day. All the hair catches his shirt fuzz- it's like a lint trap in the dryer, and it gathers huge clumps. Revolting.He showers and washes but it just gets all... lint-y.

I have no idea why, but I was thinking about a day he and I were watching television and he was messing with his navel cave- I don't know why. He plucked the lint and then was turning his navel inside-out and he asked me to look at it. He said he could see a spot and wanted to know if his belly button was bruised or if there was a freckle in it. Seriously?!? But I looked. I said I would look but wouldn't touch it. And it was black. HIS BELLY BUTTON WAS BLACK ON THE INSIDE!!!!!!!!!!! I was slightly freaked out. So, I took his keys from the table and poked and scraped the black gunk from the creases and it CAME OFF!! OMG!!! the deep, dark creases of his navel had mold in it!!!! I threw up in the back of my mouth a little bit, and then went home.

(In all fairness, it wasn't mold. It was just wet lint from a dark colored shirt, post shower)

But his belly button smells. It smells so gross I can't even come up with a description- 4 week old sweat socks and molding cheese? Maybe it smells like the color brown. Ya know? Yuck.

He's a very, very clean guy, obsessively showering and never wearing dirty clothes. He has (had?) good hygiene. But the whole navel thing had me freaked out as if I wasn't revolted by navels before, but then to add his?

The human body is necessary but it's really pretty gross.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Video game review by guest blogger, Mac& his mommy's commentary

Well, this is a first on "shoes/ purses": the first ever video game review. I asked Mac for a blog idea- I was just being silly and he starts spouting this so I wrote it all down. I was going to aim for something about bellybutton lint so I guess this is about as interesting. I know I haven't played the game but Mac has- obviously waaaaaaay too many hours: 62 hours , 28 minutes and 55 seconds. Uh, yeah. I've watched him play the game for about 15 of those minutes and I can say:
1) it has an epic sound track
2) it's very violent
3) there's sex in it [not porn style but seriously, sex in this game!!!]
4) the time period is cool, like the era of Knights
5) and, you can kill giant spiders in a swamp.

Without further ado, here's Mac's review:

The video game Elder Scrolls V: Sky Rim is absolutely amazing. The game starts as every Elder Scroll games starts: you're a nameless, raceless prisoner. After a dragon invasion allows your character an opportune time to escape, you go through the tutorial and make a character. After a very exciting and practically cinematic tutorial that shows the different styles of combat like sneak attack, blades, and magic, you quickly escape the dragon and are left in the open world of Sky Rim.

Like the previous game, Oblivion, the main focus of Sky Rim is exploration. As you explore the various towns and dungeons, one quickly realizes that every town and dungeon are different and have completely different feels to them. One dungeon might have you fighting through booby traps of ancient dwarfs and another might have you fighting a bunch of blood thirsty bandits. There are plenty of quests to do almost everywhere. Towns serve as huge social hubs to pick up quests and gear. In doing quests and exploring, the game play and its mechanics are quickly revealed. Simply put, how one plays the game determines how the character levels up. If you run around blasting people with fire balls, your magic ability will level up. However, if you prefer a more close combat, and use melee weapons to combat skills. There are also various abilities like alchemy to make potions, smithing to make weapons, pick pocketing to increase your chances of thieving, and many more.

After going through ten straight hours, I've only scratched the surface. The next 20 hours I delved in more to the mechanics of the game and figured out a lot of things. but there's always still more to do. After playing the game for a total of 50 hours I still have many more things to accomplish, as well as over half of my skills to level up. Sky Rim is an amazing RPG and will attract anyone who loves the open world, western-style RPG.

~Mac, Maggie's son

I'm really impressed with the laying of the story here. As a reader and a lover of movies, the "deepness" of the video game stories are pretty impressive. There's actually some character development, too. I can see how the argument could be made that a video game is alike a book come to life, to a certain extent.

I know lots of people are pro and con video games and I understand a respect both sides. I have to say this is just one impressive game. The graphics and story are very impressive, regardless of my over all opinion of video games.

Changin' it up a bit,
Maggie (and Mac)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I don't want to be as outrageous as Lady Gaga but...

I want an Elf costume. Not a slutty one but a fun one, with red and white striped tights and the curly shoes with bells on the toes. I don't know why but I do. I think it would be fun to wear to work once in awhile. Or to go out shopping.

Occasionally I get this weird urge to dress funny. I always liked teaching because I would dress in costume to introduce different type of literature: as a flapper for Gatsby, in a toga for Julius Caesar, and once like a pirate when we did a short version of Moby Dick.

When I taught college I would sometimes wear wigs. At first I did it because I would over sleep from too much drinking the night before and would have bed head but not time to shower so a quick sink bath and a wig and off I would go. I had a red one, a blonde one and a black bob. It would flip my students out at first and then they just sort of became accustom. Now, I can't do this at the high school level because it's considered a "distraction" to the learning process. Yeah, right, whatever.

I like to put together an outfit that would be outrageous but because I live back in my small town I feel like I shouldn't be "too outrageous" because my dad has to deal with the gossip, whereas I could care less. A plaid skirt and combat boots and a wig would be awesome, in my opinion. I want to pierce my nose (Daddy-O said I would be kicked out and could NOT stay here if I did that. But I would like to point out that my dear late mother told HIM if he pierced his ear she'd divorce him. He pierced and they stayed married. Though he did spend a night or two on the couch.) and dye a streak of pink in my air. I have a Holly Golightly outfit, of sorts that I want to wear around town. Sometimes I dress like a Junior Leaguer or a Republican and wear trousers with a matching sweater set and a string of pearls.

When I moved to the Wild West I wore a tiara as I drove across North Dakota and my Native American name was "She who drives with tiara". Daddy-O named me. I forgot I had it on and wondered by people kept looking at me funny when I would get out of the car to site see or pump fuel.

I'm sure there's some sort of psychological reasoning behind all this, but I don't really care. I just like to look a little different, to try on a different look. I don't think it changes who I am, when it happens, but I like to "feel" different. I don't act so much on it now, but I wish I could. Changing my look is "my look."

And today I'm really rather hum-drum in my jeans and a red peasant blouse, and loafers. A nice diamond nose stud would really set this outfit off...

Who's that girl,

Friday, November 25, 2011

I prefer a PINK Friday, thank you very much!

As I said earlier this week: I am NOT Black Friday shopping today. I don't want to participant in the rampant commercialism and embark on a capitalistic materialistic journey to Christmas. I hate crowds and I'm broke, too.

I'm going to make today a PINK Friday. I'm going to wear pink, drink something pink, and eat something pink. I'm going to lay around the house and be lazy. My biggest adventure might be to go to the Diary Queen for a Pink Blizzard and drive thru the cemetery to see if my cousin's headstone as been laid (Um, this isn't as morbid as it sounds.) I might read, or craft. I might watch all the DVRed tv I've stored up, which includes about 4 episodes of Prime Suspect (I love Maria Bello but I hate that stupid hat) and 3 of Once Upon a Time (which was also my idea for a TV show). I might write. I just plan on enjoying the day. I might cook a little something... who knows?

I even have a bag of Cherry Cordial Hershey kisses which come in pink wrappers. I am soooo ready. I'm gonna sleep in and wear pink jammies.

But I plan for it to be relaxing and fun. And relaxing and fun can be pink.

I say "Down with Black Friday" and brighten up the day with YOUR favorite color!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Food is the point, right?

Thanksgiving is all about food. Look yeah, we all know about Pilgrims and Plymouth Rock and Squanto and Maze and shit, but really, it's about food and family (and football). But mostly food.

I was fixin' dinner last might and Daddy-O and I were talking about food. Food and "dishes". I mean the glassware sort, not a synonym for meal.

We have a yellow dish with a pattern that looks like cross stitch on it which my Grandma F ALWAYS made corn casserole in. We have a ceramic plate shaped like an apple that my mom always made Waldorf Salad in. We have a crystal pedestal cake plate that the famous sour cream coffee cake is served upon. The food is associated with dishes.

There's a matching blue basket weave stoneware piece that my Grandma F always served applesauce with cinnamon on the top. I was thinking we needed to get out the solid white soup tureen because my same Grandma F served hot, spiced apple cider in it, topped with floating cinnamon sticks.

We have a pink Depression glass candy dish that always held butterscotches in it when my dad was a kid and HE went to HIS grandma's.

I commented that I wanted to make Grandma F's banana pudding and Daddy-O said she used a nut grinder and covered the top with freshly ground peanuts, and she didn't mess it up with Nilla wafers- just yummy from scratch pudding with pieces of banana- the trick was green bananas so they weren't brown or mushy when the pudding was stirred. Daddy-O said that was his Uncle's favorite dish that his mother made- and yes, we have a special bowl for the banana pudding.

Did I mention she also "made" a kick ass ham loaf? Yeah, she cheated and bought it pre-made from the butcher BUT she did make her own pineapple topping to pour of the top! Delish!

I realize these memories are connected with family on the F side of the family but they're the one's who left these pieces to Daddy-O or to me (I didn't get anything like that when the other grandmother died). So many of my memories are all tied up like that: with food and dishes and the moments. It seems silly but they are.

For example, if we get out the tureen for hot cider then I have to get pimento cheese spread and wheat crackers because Grandma F always had those together. It is what it is.

It think this was memory food week, actually. I made an escalloped chicken casserole that was my Great Aunt Zen's recipe and my Grandma F made it and I managed to NAIL it just like hers! Oh yeah! Then last night I made canned chicken and dumplings and grilled peanutbutter sandwiches. Now my Daddy-O made us that as a meal when we were kids and my mom had to work late. That didn't happen often but when it did, that was one of his famous staples.

Today is Thanksgiving and I give thanks for my family and friends and food. And today we're going somewhere new for Thanksgiving. We've not nailed down a new Turkey Day tradition since my mom died so I look forward to the annual adventure to see what happens- will I cook, will we go to relatives, will I have a man friend with whom I will celebrate, etc. And this year we're going to a cousin's house down in the Southern part of the state and there's gonna be about 30 people. I'm bringing pies. I don't know if there'll be any traditional foods or not. But there will be food and family.

For which I'm exceptionally thankful for both.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Maggie Mae

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gimme a classroom, anywhere

I've missed teaching and I decided I'm not good at in between. What I mean by this is that if I'm going to work in a school I need to be a teacher, in my own classroom. Working in the library is AWESOME and I love it, but I love teaching more. Working the school library is like being a diabetic in charge of a bakery.

I had to laugh because a good friend of mine spent a day at a conference and one of the workshops she went to was all about teaching literature. As I listened to all the cool ideas she learned, I thought,"Ive done that" or "I do that" or "Hmmm, I've always done it that way." And the one workshop she attended that I could most relate to was taught by a 35 year veteran teacher who's been in AP classes since the beginning. And I did all the same things she did. SHE gets to be a conference leader and lauded for her awesome ideas and I can't set foot in a classroom because I don't have the right, damn license, which is so NOT fair. (And as we all know that I know, life isn't fair but it still sucks.)

So I've been looking around for teaching jobs again wondering where I can go. And I found a very credible source and company that puts Americans, Brits and Aussies in international schools to teach English. And I found that I qualify to work for this organization. And I learned of several openings, the one I am most interested in is located in Kenya. Yes, as in Africa. And no I don't care about heat or lack of air conditioning or bugs.

This is an amazing opportunity. This is chance to teach as well as have an adventure. This is what I always wanted- to save the world and this might be my way to finally do it. This is a way to give back. It's a way to be in a classroom. It's a way to help others, to share the love of language and words and books. It's a way to deal with some of my political ideology and thoughts on American Greed Mentality (uhhh, I'm gonna try to NOT get on a 1% soap box). This is something I want to do.

It does pay. It does provide health insurance.

I applied. Now I wait. Who knows- it might or mightn't happen but either way I had the guts to toss my name in the ring and we'll see what happens.

This time next year I might be blogging from Africa. Hmmmm, I might have to come up with a new blog name...


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I give thanks for 4 days out of school

I'm pretty psyched about Thanksgiving because I don't have to cook. I don't mind cooking a big meal for a lot of people. It doesn't stress me out.

I remember whenever my mom was going to cook she would freak out because my evil grandmother would drive her nuts. She freaked about the food and the cleanliness of the house. And about how us kids were dressed. And and and---- the list goes on.

Now, me, I don't care. I can cook for a big group and what happens happens. I burn a turkey, then we eat all the other stuff. The spaghetti sticks, add more sauce. Something turns out gross, order a pizza. It doesn't throw me for a loop.

This year I'm happy because I am lazy. I don't feel like cooking one more friggin' meal, and I don't feel like cleaning up. I'm more than content to make the 3 hour drive to my cousin's house for Thanksgiving lunch and then drive back. I wish I knew someone here who invited me for supper that was having Thanksgiving meal, around 6:30pm, because I'd be home in time and go eat there, too.

I'm declaring it MY break. I don't have to work at all. Not any of my part time jobs. NONE of them! Can you believe it?!? I traded with a guy so he could be home with his grandbabies on Christmas eve and he's working my Thanksgiving- win/ win for us all! (This year my Bro works on Xmas Eve so I sure don't mind working for a guy so he can see his grandkids!).

I'm also NOT going shopping on Black Friday. I toyed with the idea and then last night I had to visit 2 grocery stores and I think the entire population of my whole county was split between those 2 places and that cured my Black Friday idea. Not a bloomin' chance! I think people who go out on that day are crazy. Brave but just slightly crazy. It's like a version of sky diving or something, and I am not willing to take my life into my own hands for a $25 discount on a shirt. (Maybe on shoes......)

I'm gonna read. Maybe see a few movies. Maybe drink Starbucks. I'm gonna sleep in. I might make some cards. Who knows?

I just know that I am NOT making Thanksgiving Dinner and I am NOT Black Friday shopping.

And you can't make me!

Maggie Mae

Monday, November 21, 2011

And now we return to your regularly scheduled program

ITSam and I broke up, he quit his job and he moved to the state capital.

Mac quit school and is back at home, looking for a new job and a new school.

I'm going crazy.

I need to tell you about bellybuttons, a couple of road trips, some excellent homemade hard cider, cherry cordial Kisses, work, a winter Prom, and quite possibly an upcoming journey to Nairobi, Kenya.

Otherwise, it's been pretty quiet here.

How are things with you?

Baby, I'm back!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


So, I'm going pants shopping. This may not seems like a big deal to some but to me it's a huge issue. I need dress pants. I found jeans that work for me and I'm good at buying jeans, but dress trousers are a whole other kettle of fish.

I have a tiny waist, broad hips, junk in the trunk, and heavy thighs. I have long legs but am short waisted. Buying pants is a nightmare. I have to buy pants at a Plus Size clothing store so the price is always higher, too.

I can't wear the wide leg trousers because I feel like my legs look like stumps- because of my thighs. I usually need to get my pants in a "tall". There's usually a huge gap in the back because of my waist. UGH!

But I NEED dress slacks for work. That's all there is too it. I had a pair of black and brown pants that I've had for about 10 years and the butt is shiny on one pair- from all the use- and the other pair now has holes. My other pair of blank pants accidentally got dried and shank so they look like I'm waiting for a flood. (These I'm going to shorten to Capris and wear with boots this winter, though.) I have 3 pair of cotton pants but I really hate the way the look and the way they fit. I wear them because I have nothing else. They also have cargo pockets and I don't think that looks dressy.

I have lots of skirts but it does get cold and I like pants. I love the look of skirts and tights but I have to be honest here: I've gained some weight and some skirts don't fit right. AND almost every skirt I own is a summer, flouncy, twirly skirt. So, if I have to invest in some bottom wear clothing, I'm going with pants because of the need for "warmth in a Midwest Winter" factor.

Usually I'm a bit of a bohemian when I dress but my friend Photographer is not. And she's lost around 50+ pounds with Weight Watchers and has gifted me her clothes, as I've previously mentioned in other posts. And only the tops have fit. And these are NICE things. Many with price tags still on. And they look nice on me. But nothing is very bohemian.

I do have this pair of trousers that are a lovely shade of gray and look nice on me. But when I wear those, I always pair them with a lovely blouse and a cardigan sweater. And pearls. I feel like I'm in a costume, ready to go trick-or-treating as Junior League Member. Or a Daughter of the Young Republicans. Or Daughter of the Revolution.... you get my drift. I look very.... conservative, sorta like Sarah Palin but without the guns and the stupid.

Now don't get me wrong. I look nice. Really nice. I get very complimented the days I dress like that. I even make sure I coif my hair and I demure. It's totally a part I play. And now with all of Photographer's "conservative" clothes, I feel like I should buy more "grown up" trousers.

So, I need pants, I have a little bit of money to buy some clothes, I have a coupon at my favorite Plus Size store, AND I have a plan. I just hope I can FIND something. But FINDING is for another blog post.

Or I can do what I always do when I can't find pants.... buy shoes.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Random thoughts, and a conversation

I signed up for three months of yoga class and I still haven't made it to one yet. Thank goodness there are 2.5 months left.

I hope Zi-Cam saves me from a cold because kids are coughing and sneezing all over the place.

Channel locks and vice grips are NOT the same thing.

I miss the Wild West... their winters and their sunsets.

I've had it planned for 2 weeks for the Art Club kids to carve pumpkins next week. A fellow teacher came in today with a GREAT IDEA for Art Club. Gee, she said I should have them carve pumpkins. Gee, I already have the pumpkins ordered and a "Pimp Your Pumpkin" flier already printed.

I'm making a new collection... of pints of and Ben and Jerry's ice cream in my freezer. They have my name on them. In my freezer.

Conversation I had with a student:
student: I hate taking communion.
me: really?
student: Yeah. I bet the disciples went hungry.
me: uhhh, why's that?
student: well, if all you ate for a meal was a crumb of bread and a shot of grape juice you'd be hungry too.
me: well, it's not supposed to be a meal... and what does it have to do with disciples, exactly?
student: well, the bread and booze was the Last Supper. Is that why prisoners on death row get a good meal? Because Jesus's last one sucked?
me: *blink, blink*
Me: uhh, I think you're a little confused. The Bread and wine was not served as the Last Supper.
Student: are you sure?
me: uhhhh, yeah, I'm pretty sure.
student: then why do we eat bread and wine at church?
me: because it's a symbol of Christ, of His sacrifice for mankind. the bread represents his body and the wine his blood.
student: oh. Well, what did they eat at the Last Supper?
me: I don't know.
student: tacos. Jesus is a Mexican name so it was probably tacos.
At this point, I didn't say a word. Sometimes it pays to just be quiet.


Monday, October 17, 2011

40. Watch a classic Christmas movie I've never watched

I watched White Christmas and it's cute. I have no idea how I made it 40 years without seeing this wonderful, quaint and funny musical.

In summary:
Bob and Phil team up to become a song-and-dance act (think vaudeville) after they leave the Army, post WWII. They meet a team of beautiful sisters, Betty and Judy, who also have a song-and-dance act. Betty and Judy go to a Vermont lodge to perform a Christmas show, the guys follow. There they find their former Army General, Gen. Waverly to be the owner of the financially failing lodge. They all stay to help to try to rejuvenate the business and in the midst of all that romance and comedy ensue.

I love when the guys help the girls out of a situation and end up doing the girls' song and dance routine: "Sisters." It was hilarious! Of course, the costumes were lush and the music is to die for. The dancing is fantastic. And who doesn't love Irving Berlin's famous Bing Crosby crooning "White Christmas"?

This was worth watching and I might have to just watch it again, when it's actually part of the Christmas season. Who knows- I could start a new tradition and watch it each year, I liked it so much!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

New out look on '40 before 40'

Some of you might have noticed that I've changed the title of the 40 things to do before I was 40. Yes, now they are things to do in my 40th year instead.

I didn't get them all done before I turned 40 but I'm just not ready to give up on all 40 items. So I'm giving myself until I turn 41 to do them.

And I've been editing the list as I go along. I discovered I've never driven a go-cart. I live in the frickin' Midwest where we have as many go-carts as cars and I've never been on one. So, I added that to the list. I've also never been to a drive-in movie on a date. I might add that next summer, if I'm feeling like it. Or if I'm dating. I don't want to add any MORE pressure to myself!

So. I'm sticking to it. I plan on working a bit harder at these things this winter. We shall see what I can do.

The cool thing: so far I've done some things more than once like take a scrapbook class and more yoga. See, I did something for the first time and enjoyed it enough and will keep doing it! Now how awesome, for me!

And if all goes according to plan, I'll be crossing off something else this week: seeing a live show of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

This list can only make me like age 40 better because I've been 40 years old for about 3 weeks and these have been some of the crappiest weeks of my life so I am unimpressed with my foray into the forties. Feh. It can only look up.

People say being Forty is: Fun! Fabulous! Fantastic! So, being Forty is supposed to be some big F-ing deal?


Saturday, October 15, 2011

A little fall colour...

I do this every year, go out and take pictures of autumn leaves & then post them here. Enjoy our Midwest Fall Rainbow!


Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm so busy my head is spinning

Months can go by and I have nothing on my calendar other than "movie" or "pick up Mac" or "grocery store". But this month my social calendar is full, as is work.

I have a ticket to see My Fair Lady, a touring Broadway show here in my local theater. I might also be seeing our local theater groups production of The Music Man. I'm going to a Halloween showing of The Rockey Horror Picture Show, which I've never done before so I guess I'm in for a real 'experience.'

Tomorrow is the annual chili cook off festival and a craft fair that's the largest in our tri-state area; I love to go to that with friends and family and won't miss it! I also took a card making class at Archivers- which was FUN even though one of my cards looks like my Wise Men's camels had teats rather than fringe- did I mention I hate using heat embossing? (Pictures will be forth coming)

I'm helping Photographer make 100 ghost cake pops for something she got roped into at school. I'm also co-hosting a book club meeting with her on Tuesday, at MY library. It's a 2-fold thing: book club and maybe get some donors. I have a yoga class. I'm meeting Lilith next week for an evening of girlfriend fun! Mac is home this weekend for his fall break and he, Princess and I are going to the orchard on Sunday, to pick our own pumpkins and then come to the house to grill out and watch a movie.

Not to mention I have to work my part time receptionist job this weekend, I'm co-chairing our Prom which we have next month so I have lots of prom meetings, art club meeting since I'm sponsoring that, gathering items and editing the literary club magazine (yes I am chairing that, too), substitute teaching on Fridays, AND I work in the library, too. Oh yeah, I almost forgot my regular job in there.

And Halloween.

Yes, this is all just in October.

I was supposed to attend a family member's memorial service but that was postponed, and I was supposed to go to a re-enactment festival but Curley and I bailed on that due to traffic, bees, heat, and nothing new that we haven't seen before. And that's only what was crossed off the list!

Somewhere in here I have to do laundry. And I have a BF who likes lots of attention.

I like a busy schedule but to me, this even feels a little ridiculous; I wish it could've been stretched out over a few months but I'm looking into November and it doesn't seem much better, in all honesty.

At least I'll have lots to blog about!

Head above water so far,

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stop and smell the flowers

I actually wrote 3 blog posts by hand, on paper, over the weekend but haven't had a moment to sit down and type them up, so you get some of these "last of the summer flowers" pictures.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Love some 'new' clothes! And I didn't even have to shop.

My friend the Photographer is on Weight Watchers and is doing a great job. She was wearing size 22 and is now a 14/16, depending on how the clothes fit her.

I've been really blessed because as she looses the weight, she gives me her clothes. She and I carry our weight completely differently. She has no butt and skinny legs and I have a BOOTY and have some weight in my thighs. We both have it in the belly. I have broad shoulders and large boobs and she had to have a breast reduction several years ago for medical reasons, one being that she has narrow shoulders.

Anyway, I can wear most of her tops. And almost all her skirts. It's wonderful- my wardrobe has grown exponentially.

So SHE has a friend who is also on Weight Watchers and that friend went from a 24 to a 12. This friend gave Photographer all her clothes- 8 trash bags of clothes! It was like Christmas came early tonight.

I went to Photographer's house and we went through all the bags and I took what I liked that fit me, and she took what she liked and fit her. I got a 30 gallon bag, overstuffed with clothes... all tops. Because not a single pair of jeans or trousers fit me. I have tons of sweaters, shirts, t-shirts, polos, sweatshirts, dressy, casual... tops of all kinds and not a single pair of pants. Photographer, on the other hand, found all pants that fit her.None of the tops. We decided her friend had my upper body and her lower body. Well.... had because she's now a 12. And we reaped the benefits of her weight loss.

It's pretty awesome, too, because all her clothes are nice! Now, I own nice clothes from a boutique but I do not have a problem with wearing stuff from Wally World or Big K or Meijer. All these clothes came from exclusive boutiques, nice department stores, and are all well known name brands. Nice stuff. Not kidding- I probably got about $1500 on clothes today, for free.

I love it! I hate that I'm overweight but it's really nice to have some "new" clothes! My friends and I always laugh that when one of us is losing weight another one gains- this time I'm gaining a wardrobe!

The clothes horse,

Monday, October 3, 2011

No Havest Party for this girl!

I think changing Halloween celebrations in schools to Harvest parties is stupid. There. I said it. It infuriates me that some closed minded dorks can't cope with the idea of Halloween. Oh, I think if little Johnny in 1st grade came home and told his mom that at the school Halloween party they sacrificed a live virgin, held a seance to contact a dead principal and drank the blood of a goat, I might raise my eyebrows--- and realize this had nothing to do with Halloween. But kids in ghost costumes are forbidden? No skull decorations because they're the sign of the devil? Plu-eeze!

What got me thinking about this is I'm decorating the school library for Halloween. Now, I work at facility for youth where they've been court ordered. We're just one step away from prison/ jail. We are also a very CHRISTIAN facility. I work in the PUBLIC school library. I have to consider I'm in a public school that's strictly for highly at risk youth in a Christian setting. Oh yeah, don't I just fit so well there?

Anyway! I'm trying to decorate and someone mentioned that I couldn't have Halloween decorations because it's "not Christian." I seriously bit my tongue and summoned all my will power to keep my mouth shut. And I wished I could've channeled Lilith!

Normally when faced with a comment like that, the first thing I want to do is buck the system. Of course. I know, I'm officially 40 years old and I still want to rebel at the first sign of being pushed- you'd think I'd outgrow it but still to no avail. And normally I think it's far easier to ask for, or even beg for, forgiveness rather than to ask for permission. But since I had already pissed off people about Banned Book Week (this will be an upcoming post!), I just thought, "Screw it" and I asked my principal.

And he didn't care if I decorated for Halloween, he didn't care what sort of decorations as long as they weren't "gross" and were "tasteful", and he didn't care if I called it Halloween. He asked me to not use skulls because that's a campus wide rule. So, HA!

I've been making Halloween happen. I have jack-o-lantern window clings, and spider webs, with spider rings. I have a bulletin board dedicated to our authors of the month: Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King. I have a pumpkin full of candy. We have a scarecrow and tombstones. I'm working on table top lanterns with battery operated candles. We have a Raven, a'la Poe. I'm even planning a Poe presentation and a little bit of information about All Hallow's Eve.

So I'm gonna Halloween it up! And I plan on going in costume on the appropriate day! I thought about wearing a costume a day, or least a variety of masks and hats daily but I think I'll wait and do that the week before and on the Big Day. I think I'm even going to see if I can host a Halloween Library Party on Oct. 31.

Any chance to eat candy, wear a tiara in public, and rebel against Big Brother!

Nothing mild mannered about this librarian,

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The "How Girlie Are You" Quiz

Last night I went shopping, by accident. I think only a woman would ever do that. I went to Wal-Mart for one thing: silver crackle nail polish. And they were out. I knew the Wally World in the next town over had about 40 bottles of the stuff, so ITSam and I took a brief road trip. The purpose was to get the polish, a cheese danish, a new house key, and then a de-caf Peppermint Mocha with whip from Starbucks.

The plan went awry.

We went the 22 miles to the next town and their Wally World was now out of Crackle, even though 5 nights ago they had about 40 bottles. I was pissed. I drove all that way for nothing. I was no upset I thought I might not be able to enjoy my Starbucks. I wondered back to the keys and found a Pink House Key with a Silver Tiara on it, surrounded by Silver Rhinestones. This was my dream key. And since Daddy-O and I keep locking ourselves out and Booknut has to keep unlocking the house for us, I decided to get a Pink Key cut for me and then hide the boring one.* I paid for my cut dream key** and left, still fuming over the nail polish.

Until I remembered there was a Meijer next door. And I went there. And they had about 40 bottles of Crackle polish, of which I purchased a silver one. And I got ASSORTED mini danishes, which are far superior to those plain cheese kind, AND I got a new travel mug covered in PINK HIGH HEELS!!! So, I accidentally shopped.

ITSam said only a girlie girl could accidentally shop, which led him to say I was such a girlie girl and that I took normal girl things to the next level. Now, I don't think that's quite fair. I'm not THAT girlie girlie, so I wrote and took my own "How Girlie Are you" Quiz, and I determined I'm just a perfect girlie girl. Here, you can take it your own-selves! Pick one answer per number:

1) a-If you've had a man in our own home or in our own apartment building come over for the soul purpose of killing a spider, give yourself 1 point.
b- If you had a man operate a motor vehicle to come over and kill your spider, give yourself 2 points
c- If you moved to get away from the spider, give yourself 3 points

2) a- If shopping is daily exercise, 2 points
b- If shopping is your hobby, 1 point
c- If you can name your favorite QVC hostess's dog's name, give yourself 3 points

3) a- If you have more than four shades of lipstick you wear on a weekly basis, 2 points
b- Less than four shades, 1 point

4) a- If you need to call someone to change your tire, 1 point
b- If you refuse to pump your own gasoline, 2 points

5) a- If you refuse to use a public bathroom unless it's located in a 5 star hotel, restaurant or in an exclusive department store, 2 points
b- If you'll pee indoors anywhere, 1 point
c- if you've used an outhouse or peed outside, subtract 1 point

6) a- if you have 5 or more pairs of shoes that have matching handbags, 2 points
b- if you have less than five, then 1 point
c- give yourself 1 more point if you own at least 10 pairs of shoes or 10 purses, even if they don't match each other! (Heaven forbid!)

7) a- if all of your jeans are designer or your don't own jeans, give yourself 2 points
b- take away a point if you're willing to leave the house in sweatpants

8) a- If you might say something like this "Drinking Water only grows in bottles and is called Evian" then give yourself 2 points
b- If you prefer bottle water but will drink tap water out of an act of desperation, give yourself 1 point

9) a- if you spend more than 20 minutes styling your hair (washing and blow dryer do not count in the allotted time period) each day, 2 points
b- if your hair is a fire hazard due to the amount of product you use, give yourself 3 points
c- if you can't remember your natural hair color, you get 4 points

10) a- if your favorite color is pink, 1 point
b- if you're asked your favorite color and you say a specific shade of pink, 2 points

11) a- if you dog fits in your handbag, you get 2 points
b- if your dog also has a stylist, give yourself 3 points
c- if using the pooper-scooper doesn't freak you out, then subtract 2 points

12) a- if your life long dream is to be Miss America or be on Project Runaway or be besties with Snookie, 2 points
b- if your default TV channel is CNN or the History channel, subtract 1 point

Bonus question: if your biggest problem with the Bill Clinton/ Monica Lewinsky scandal was that she would wear that blue dress in public, give yourself an extra 2 points

Now, add and subtract all your points. Results are as follows:
0-6 points= are you sure you don't have a penis?
7-25= Just Girlie enough!
26 or more= You rival Paris Hilton!

I had 14 points. So, see.... just perfect!

And I can't help it if I accidentally shopped. For nail polish and a shoe coffee mug. Things like that are just bound to happen to us all at some point in life...

pink lipsticky kisses,

* the boring one is silver and nice, but it's a plain silver, albeit sparkly, key.

** The stooopid girl working at the key cut took 2 tries to get it right and when I got home, it didn't work. I marched out to my own local Wally World and got my money back. Then I determinedly headed back to our local key cutter and it was closed for the night- because why would Wally World have someone cutting keys at 10:37pm on a Saturday night, right? The keys were located in the Automotive department, which was closed. Only "closed" meant a sign was set up that said "do not enter." Well, I entered, went to the key rack, found a replacement key, and went up front and paid for it- uncut. I am taking it to the locally owned and operated hardware store to see if they can cut they key in a capable fashion... this will be the third attempt.